The Great Internet Slowdown of 2014

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Internet Slowdown

Tomorrow, September 10th, 2014 is the INTERNET SLOWDOWN.  Don’t worry, it’s not a real slowdown.  But many site will be displaying images and information on what the internet will be like if the big communications companies get their way.  Even Netflix is joining in to support Net Neutrality.

Why is Net Neutrality important?  For that matter, what is it?

Today, everyone pays for bandwidth.  It doesn’t matter if you’re transferring files, streaming video or browsing websites.  You buy bandwidth and you use it for a regular fee.  If the big communications companies get their way, some traffic will get prioritization for a fee.

What’s wrong with that?

First, it stifles competition.  Startups will need more funding to pay those premiums.  The costs could be prohibitive.  They might have a better solution or technology, but because they can’t afford the prioritized traffic premium no one will be interested.

Second, it’s going to cost you, too.  No expense goes unpaid by the consumer.  If Netflix pays more, you pay more.

Third, it’s unfair.  Imagine if you had to pay different prices for water pumped to your home based on use.  Drinking water was one price, but water used for the dishwasher had a premium.  You still had just the one pipe delivering water to your house but because the dishwasher uses much more water than drinking does you have to pay extra for that.  Even sillier… you don’t pay the premium, Maytag does.

Finally, it gives the big communications companies, the big ISPs, too much sway on the market.  It allows them to pick winners and losers.  If some traffic is prioritized guess what?  Other traffic will be de-prioritized. The internet is too big a part of our economy to allow that kind of tinkering.

The data must flow equally.

Like water or electricity to your home or business, data, too, should flow equally to large and small companies.  In the end, I think this is the real issue.  Let me know what you think.

EDIT – Here’s a video that does a pretty good job further explaining why Net Neutrality is important.

2nd EDIT – Leave it to John Oliver to explain it better.

Comments?  Questions?  There’s a place for them below.

I play with computers for a living and I'm from New Jersey. Jealous?

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3 comments on “The Great Internet Slowdown of 2014
  1. The data must flow equally! Thanks for supporting Net Neutrality.

  2. You are getting this Wong says:

    John Oliver isn’t explaining it correctly, this issue has nothing to do with Slow or Fast lanes. All network neutrality is going to do is drive up the costs with unneeded regulations.

    The issue is certain ISPs and Content providers are purposefully avoiding Tier 1 internet providers to save costs and lower prices. These are negotiated per ISP and content provider, in the case of Netflix, they believe they shouldn’t pay anything and started whining to the public about it.

    • Please, educate me. I don’t mean that sarcastically. I have been following this for a long time and haven’t come across this explanation.

      As for driving up costs with regulations… that’s a stock reply that all big companies give and as such I am going to ignore it.

      But I am interested in any facts about avoiding Tier 1 providers and how that has an effect on this. Are Tier 2 & 3 providers somehow able to over-commit bandwidth and not pay for it?

      My take on this is that if you are selling bandwidth it should be available and the type of data shouldn’t matter.

      You know what else drives up prices? Monopolies.

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